Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, 68, passed away late Monday night after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday. Political leaders from all around the country have expressed their grief on the passing away of the actress-turned-politician. The state government has announced December 6 as a public holiday to mark the legacy of Jayalalithaa who served as Tamil Nadu CM for over 15 years. The death of one of the country’s most prominent politicians has also ignited reactions from media around the world.
A New York Times article underlines the huge political void that is left in south Indian politics after her death. The article talks about the role Amma has played as a political leader in south India for over 25 years and what she meant for the people of Tamil Nadu. “She presided over a well-run state, with high literacy rates and low child mortality. She started numerous programs tailored to the poor, many of them named after herself, with healthy meals available for pennies at “Amma canteens” and subsidized medicines at “Amma pharmacies,” the article read.
The leading UK newspaper The Guardian also published a profile on Jayalalithaa, calling her the “Iron Lady” of Tamil Nadu. The article quoted her biographer, the novelist Vaasanthi Sundaram, who described her as “the most colourful, dynamic and determined woman politician that one has ever seen”. “She relentlessly challenged the male-dominated, sexist politics of Tamil Nadu that worked relentlessly to block her every step of the way,” she told The Guardian.
The Washington Post published Jayalalithaa’s obituary focusing on her role in breaking stereotypical gender roles in India’s political circuit. The article talks about the work the political leader did for the poor sections of the society in Tamil Nadu. “She was known as a secretive, somewhat imperious politician who rose to power despite India’s deeply patriarchal political system and was credited with developing her state and helping the rural poor,” the article said. It also talks about her immense popularity and the cult-like following she enjoyed among the masses.
WATCH | Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa Passes Away After Suffering Cardiac Arrest
Pakistan national newspaper published a news report on her demise in the international section of the newspaper. The newspaper used an agency copy which talks about her prolonged illness before her death.
Apart from the Dawn, several Asian newspapers including The Sun (Malaysia), Daily News (Sri Lanka) and The Straits Times (Singapore), covered Jayalalithaa’s death as one of the leading world stories on their websites.